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How Can I Lower My Risk for a Heart Attack?

According to the American Heart Association, more than 735,000 people living in the United States experience heart attacks each year. Are you at risk for being one of them?

During American Heart Month this February, our team at AFC Urgent Care Ladera Ranch wants you to understand the symptoms associated with a heart attack, as well as ways you can reduce your risk of experiencing one.

What Happens When You Have a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when an artery or arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart becomes blocked. This is a medical emergency, since without blood, tissue dies.

No two heart attacks are the same, so if you experience one, you may have a wide range of symptoms.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

  • Pressure, tightness, pain or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sudden dizziness

What Puts You at Risk for a Heart Attack?

There are both controllable and uncontrollable risk factors associated with a heart attack. The risk factors you cannot change include your age and family medical history.

However, there are controllable risk factors that you can take control of in order to decrease your heart attack risk. These controllable risk factors include smoking, having high blood pressure, having high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, and not managing your diabetes well.

Ways to Lower Your Heart Attack Risk

  • Maintain a normal blood pressure.
  • Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Manage stress effectively.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

Could your heart and health use a checkup? Visit AFC Urgent Care Ladera Ranch today—no appointment is needed!